Brynmor was my favorite character from A Feast of Souls, so I was happy to see that he got his own book. A spirit, the relationship between Brynmor an...moreBrynmor was my favorite character from A Feast of Souls, so I was happy to see that he got his own book. A spirit, the relationship between Brynmor and Daraja is not usual, but I thought they made an excellent pair. The story is only loosely tied to the overall arc of the novels, but we get some insight into the Deinopidae lifestyle which was neat. (less)
I adored the first book in this series, A Hint of Frost, but this second book did not quite live up the it.
The lore in these stories is quite interes...moreI adored the first book in this series, A Hint of Frost, but this second book did not quite live up the it.
The lore in these stories is quite interesting (though I still trip over those proper names of spider families) and I loved the deeper insights into the spiritual world of the Salticidae clan.
What I didn't love about this book were the characters. Vaughn made his appearance in the first book as the step-brother to the hero where he was the epitome of what you would expect from the heir to a mercenary clan - brash, reckless, unfiltered and still remarkably charming. Mana was briefly introduced in the previous book, but she didn't make much of an impression on me. I really liked Vaughn in the first book, and felt he was too soft and out of character in this book. It seemed like Edwards was trying too hard to make him a cliche loveable hero, instead of working with what she already had. It bothered me that they were suddenly so familiar with one another, it didn't jive with the Vaughn I knew from the last book and Vaughn being so suddenly protective when I recall little indication of romance between them from the first book was just weird.
Brynmor, a spirit who Mana stumbles upon and follows her was easily my favorite character in this book - luckily he got his own novella, A Cast of Shadows.(less)
I hate to say this, but I was disappointed in this novella. The novella focuses on Eamon Evernight, who is only passingly mentioned in Winterblaze (Bo...moreI hate to say this, but I was disappointed in this novella. The novella focuses on Eamon Evernight, who is only passingly mentioned in Winterblaze (Book #3) and whose granddaughter is the lead heroine in Evernight (Book #5). Aside from the last five paragraphs of Entwined, which take place forty years after the events of the story, the novella does not tie in with the story of the series. And even those paragraphs do not give us any information that we didn't learn from Winterblaze.
One of the things I love the most about the Darkest London series is the world building, and I felt that Entwined lacked that. Eamon's power is only spoken of briefly and there are no other supernatural elements to their story. I am interested to see if anything from this story comes up in Evernight, but otherwise I feel like this was a mostly superfluous novella in terms of the series. (less)
The world that Cole created was intricate and engaging, but I felt like there needed to be a balance between what lore we needed to know for this story and what lore was superfluous.
I liked Trehan, the romance's hero. While he had plenty of alpha tendency he also had a great love and respect for his mate's wishes and well-being. He was more worried about showing her that he cared for her that satisfying his own desires.
Bettina was, in one word, vapid. She is extremely naive and spends a good deal of time chasing after someone who has made it clear that he's not romantically interested in her, all while enjoying her encounters with Trehan. I felt like everyone around her (even if they are twisted in the ways they go about it) has her best interest in mind, but she is concerned only with her own selfishness and self-pitying. Bah.
Overall I thought the book was a fun read and I liked it, but I'm not sure I'll be reading anymore in the series. (less)
Song of Scarabaeus has been on my radar for a while, so when it came up as a pick in one of my book clubs it was time to read it and boy am I glad I d...moreSong of Scarabaeus has been on my radar for a while, so when it came up as a pick in one of my book clubs it was time to read it and boy am I glad I did!
Song of Scarabaeus is mostly science fiction with a hint of very tame and realistic romance. It was refreshing to see two people actually form an attachment to one another over time rather than the love at first type route.
Creasy has a great grasp on characters. The main character were layered and dynamic, and each of the minor characters had their own distinct personalities and quirks. The story itself is very character-driven but still has a satisfying page-turning pace.
I have a few books on my immediate TBR pile, but I'll definitely be queuing up the sequel in short order.
Volume 2 is where the romance really starts to kick in and Elian starts to chase after Dan. I felt like the romance was really rushed a...moreVolume 1 Review
Volume 2 is where the romance really starts to kick in and Elian starts to chase after Dan. I felt like the romance was really rushed and would have preferred more controlled character development rather than the sudden changes that seemed to happen.(less)
The Prince's Cactus is an average comedy/romance story. When Dan comes to Greece for her sister's wedding she meets Prince Elian. Elian is pretentious...moreThe Prince's Cactus is an average comedy/romance story. When Dan comes to Greece for her sister's wedding she meets Prince Elian. Elian is pretentious and controlling and the two fight constantly.
I loved Dan's sassy attitude, but nothing else really stuck out.(less)
I don't think this book was bad but I also can't really think of anything to praise it for. It was a bit too contrived and it badly needed an editor (...moreI don't think this book was bad but I also can't really think of anything to praise it for. It was a bit too contrived and it badly needed an editor (or if nothing else a proof-reader). I did manage to read it all in one sitting though, so at least it has that going for it.(less)
I really enjoyed volume 1 in this series and will definitely continue on to read more.
The art is stunning and extremely detailed. The characters all h...moreI really enjoyed volume 1 in this series and will definitely continue on to read more.
The art is stunning and extremely detailed. The characters all have intricately patterned clothing and the backgrounds leave little to be desired. This is definitely on the top of the list as far as art is concerned.
The story is a simple slice of life tale but introduces us to a historical culture of the late 19th century that draws you in and keeps the story interesting. (less)
I had originally given this four stars, but after thinking about it I decided to up it to five. This is definitely a book I could see myself reading a...moreI had originally given this four stars, but after thinking about it I decided to up it to five. This is definitely a book I could see myself reading again.
With most romance series, it's easy to pick up a book and read it as a stand alone. You could definitely read Villiers' book as a stand alone, but I think he benefits greatly from having six books worth of character development.
Villiers' is a great character and easily one of my top romance heroes, even though he starts off as a wild rake with a total of six illegitimate children and cares nothing of love or family. He's a bit of an idiot when it comes to love and he makes some huge mistakes in regards to Eleanor, but he has some very sweet and endearing moments while he's figuring out this thing called love that make it hard not to like him.(less)
I was a little bummed out with this installment in the story. I thought EJ did a good job of fleshing out Jemma and Elijah's relationship in a book th...moreI was a little bummed out with this installment in the story. I thought EJ did a good job of fleshing out Jemma and Elijah's relationship in a book that focused specifically on them, but I felt that their evolving relationship throughout the earlier 4 books left this one a bit anticlimactic.
Of the first 4 books, When the Duke Returns comes in as my second favorite after Desperate Duchesses.
Isidore is my favorite lead heroine thus far in...moreOf the first 4 books, When the Duke Returns comes in as my second favorite after Desperate Duchesses.
Isidore is my favorite lead heroine thus far in the series (though I suspect Jemma might oust her from that position as I continue to her book), she's a fiery Italian with a big heart and some realistic insecurities about her husband of eleven years that she's never met! Simeon has spent those years adventuring in Egypt and picking up some eccentric behaviors (in the mind of the English court at least).
I liked that this was an atypical scenario for romantic fiction. Rather than the love-at-first sight trope, the book focuses more on Isidore and Simeon working each other into the control they each possess over their separate lives.(less)
Using the cross-dressing trope to get Harriet to find herself again really worked for me, her self-discovery seemed more genuine than Poppy's.
I did think Strange's attraction to Harriett/Harry was a bit, well, strange. His mindset seemed to be something along the lines of "I think this guy is attractive, I must be turning gay in my old age."
I'm also really starting to like Isidore and Villers, looking forward to their books! (less)
I loved Desperate Duchesses, but this one wasn't quite as fun for me. The first book was witty in a very Wilde-esque fashion and the second book defin...moreI loved Desperate Duchesses, but this one wasn't quite as fun for me. The first book was witty in a very Wilde-esque fashion and the second book definitely lacks in that. That's not to say that it doesn't have it's witty moments, but it doesn't have the same vibe that the first book had.
I liked Poppy and thought she was really well developed, but Fletch didn't really do much for me.
I enjoyed seeing Jemma, Beaumont, Charlotte and Villers' story lines continue, but I was disappointed that we didn't see much of Roberta and Damon (although I suppose since she isn't a Duchess...).
What I didn't like was the reason that their "love affair has burned out." It seemed silly to think that in four years it hadn't occurred to Poppy to do things differently. I would have though it much more genuine if it had been strictly her mother's ideas of intimacy that kept Poppy shy in bed. (less)
I was very out of my element while hunting for a menage book for a challenge and stumbled across quite a bit of praise for Lauren Dane. A lot of said...moreI was very out of my element while hunting for a menage book for a challenge and stumbled across quite a bit of praise for Lauren Dane. A lot of said praise specifically targeted Laid Bare, but I decided to go with Undercover since it was a science-fiction romance and I thought it would be more my style. It wasn't.
There were different universes, spacey travel, and the technology to implant chips in their heads so they can talk to each other while undercover. Outside of that it could have been any undercover military romance. I felt confused by most of the sci-fi aspects. Every time they mention going to another "'Verse" I had to stop and wonder if the author meant to call them galaxies, which totally pulled me out of the story.
Speaking of the story, there was barely one. There are two sides in the world we're reading about, the Federation (of which the main characters are members) and the Imperialists (which seem to be some sort of rogue-ish faction, but there was no real explanation of who they are). There is information that suggests some of the Federalists are helping out the Imperialists and the main trio go undercover to find out that information. Until the last dozen pages of the book I was so confused about what exactly they were looking for. Throughout the rest of the book there were times when the characters had an epiphany and made headway in their investigation and I was totally lost. It just made no sense.
Not only was it confusing, there was way too much repetition. I felt like I was constantly reading about Sera's newest concubine outfit (which was always completely see-through and could barely be called an outfit), Sera being insecure about being "unranked," or Sera missing out on parts of conversations and being pissed off at Ash/Brandt for whatever she thought they said. There was also way too much in the way of sexy-time. There was sex, then they went out for dinner, then they came back and had more sex, then they went out to a party, then they came back and had more sex. Total overkill.
I felt like the character development was really poor. There was a lot of strong emotional issues with the characters and some of their past histories/relationships and they could have been explored really well. Instead it seemed like a character would have this inner monologue and then reiterate the same conclusion they already came to at a later time.
Maybe I should have read Laid Bare or maybe this just isn't my style - either way, I wasn't a fan and probably won't read anything else by this author unless it comes very highly recommended from a trusted source.(less)